February is American Heart Month, an important time to reflect on how heart disease is a serious problem in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year – that’s one in every four deaths. One group of Americans are at an increased risk for heart disease: truck drivers.
Why are Truck Drivers at risk?
Truck drivers are especially at risk due to the demanding aspects of their jobs. Often, truck drivers sit for long hours at a time, don’t get enough sleep or exercise, and have a poor diet—all on top of facing high levels of stress. This scenario has a significant and negative affect on the heart. Furthering the stress on the heart is the fact that seven in 10 truck drivers are obese* – just one more factor that increases the chance of heart disease.
For truck drivers especially, it’s critical to understand your own health issues and risks. A failed physical due to problems like heart disease and obesity can keep you off the road. At OHC, we offer DOT physicals that check for pre-existing conditions that can impair your ability to drive safely. Our medical examiners can help identify potential issues like heart problems, sleep apnea, diabetes, poor vision, and high blood pressure.
OHC believes prevention is better than the cure. It’s important for truck drivers to maintain healthy heart habits, and part of having healthy habits is getting annual health exams. So give us a call today to schedule your DOT exam. It’s one simple step in taking care of yourself, as well as those with whom you share the road.
*According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
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